“Every time I’ve helped someone with their grief, my own grief diminishes” ~Mark Sanders

My chat with Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC, is more than just a conversation; it’s a full-blown appreciation situation. If you’re in the field of addiction in Chicago, you know Mark as an inspiring speaker and thoughtful mentor. 

I envy those of you “meeting” him for the first time here, on the pod; Mark makes memorable first impressions. He’s got stories to tell, naturally, as an author who’s contributed pieces to the famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He has ideas to share about social justice, policing, and community connection, as befits someone who’s spent his entire career at the intersection of addiction and mental health. 

Beyond all of the above reasons to love Mark, he’s also a bona fine wounded healer. He survived intense generational trauma in addition to the nationwide strife that rocked the 1960s. 

“Growing up as a young Black boy…I knew that I was supposed to be in civil rights. But I didn’t want to be assassinated” Mark says, a survival response born out of watching leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and John F. Kennedy gunned down while in the prime of their activism work. 

His path eventually led him to counseling and a 38-year career of advocating for the mental wellbeing of his patients and colleagues. Now he wants to heal on the macro level, with his brilliantly designed plan to reduce police shootings at the hiring stage. By proactively incorporating unconscious bias and ACEs testing, Mark thinks policing could be revolutionized, not further weaponized. “I’m working to put a lot of stuff on the front-end.”

He’s just the guy to do it, too. Listen in; you’ll see.

Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC is an international speaker in the behavioral health field. He is the author of 5 books and has had two stories published in the New York Times Best Selling Book Series Chicken Soup for the Soul.




Online Museum of African American Addictions, Treatment and Recovery

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